- The Surprising Benefits of Being an Introvert
- They’re good listeners
- They think before they speak
- They’re observant
- They make quality friends
- They make loving romantic partners
- They’re thoughtful networkers
- They’re compassionate leaders
- Are You Shy? Use It to Your Advantage
- 1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
- Warming up
- Stay hydrated
- 2. Focus on your goal
- 3. Convert negativity to positivity
- 4. Understand your content
- 5. Practice makes perfect
- 6. Be authentic
- 7. Post speech evaluation
- Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation
- Improve your next speech
- 9 Positive Advantages of Being Shy
- 1. Modesty is Attractive
- 3. Sensitive to Detail
- 5. Calming Effect on Others
- 6. Human Service Positions/Empathy
- 7. More Trustworthy
- 8. Deeper Friendships
- 9.Successful at Solitary Work
- 10 Oddly Helpful Benefits Of Being Shy
- 1. Your modesty is endearing
- 2. You cultivate more intense friendships
- 3. You make better decisions
- 4. Shyness is linked to creativity
- 5. You tend to be altruistic
- 6. You think before you speak
- 7. You are extremely adaptable
- 8. You cope well on your own ..
- 9. … and you also excel at teamwork
- 10. Shyness is an evolutionary advantage
The Surprising Benefits of Being an Introvert
There are a lot of misconceptions about introverts — that they’re antisocial, unfriendly, shy or lonely. But in many cases, being an introvert can actually be an asset.
Introverts are people who get their energy from spending time alone, according to Dr. Jennifer Kahnweiler, author of The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength. “It’s kind of a battery they recharge,” she says. “And then they can go out into the world and connect really beautifully with people.”
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Motor Behavior found that introverts take a longer time to process information than extroverts. Kahnweiler says this is actually because they process more thoughtfully than extroverts do — they take extra time to understand ideas before moving on to new ones.
While we’re all often flooded with messages that we need to speak up and stand out in order to be successful, introverts can actually achieve even more if they hone their natural strengths, says Beth Buelow, author of The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms.
“It’s not about becoming a fake extrovert,” Buelow says. “It’s really about acknowledging the valuable traits that introverts bring.”
Here are some of the benefits of being an introvert:
They’re good listeners
Introverts are naturally adept when it comes to actively listening, according to Buelow, who identifies as an introvert herself. “We tend to be the friend or colleague you can call on when you’re upset or you have good news to share,” she says. “We’re going to be able to listen and be with you in that, without turning it around and making it about us.”
Extroverted people are more inclined to jump into a conversation before fully processing what the other person has said. Not because they’re selfish or don’t care, but because they process information interactively, says Dr. Laurie Helgoe, author of Introvert Power: Why Your Hidden Life is Your Hidden Strength.
Conversely, introverts process information internally, Helgoe says. That skill allows them to hear, understand and provide carefully considered insight when they do respond.
They think before they speak
Because introverts typically feel less comfortable speaking than they do listening, they choose their words wisely, according to Buelow. “We only speak when we have something to say, so there is a higher chance that we will have an impact with our words,” she says.
That being said, introverts may take a little too long to formulate their thoughts before sharing them — especially in fast-paced business settings.
To combat that tendency, Buelow suggests that introverts should go into meetings prepared to speak first, before there’s time to talk themselves it.
“Break your own ice,” she says, advising introverts to share a piece of data or an opening remark for the top of the meeting. “Establish your presence early on before the conversation gets thicker and more competitive.”
The skill of choosing your words wisely is just as beneficial online as it is in person. Introverts are more effective on social media because they’re less prone to knee-jerk reactions than extroverts, says Kahnweiler.
“Some people are just throwing thoughts everywhere, randomly posting everything — not introverts,” she says. “There’s a strategy that they take.”
In addition to their superior listening skills, introverts possess what Buelow considers a “superpower”: their observation skills.
“We notice things others might not notice because they’re talking and processing out loud,” she says.
Although it may look they’re just sitting quietly during a meeting, introverts are actually soaking in the information that’s being presented and thinking critically.
The typical introvert also uses his or her observant nature to read the room. They’re more ly to notice people’s body language and facial expressions, which makes them better at interpersonal communication, according to Kahnweiler.
Introverts are especially skilled at noticing introvert qualities in others, Kahnweiler says. They can tell when a person is thinking, processing and observing, and then give them the space to do so, which makes people feel much more comfortable, according to Kahnweiler. “They allow time to really connect with people,” she says.
They make quality friends
Since introverts can feel their energy being drained by being around other people — as opposed to extroverts, who gain energy from being with others— introverts choose their friends wisely. They would rather have a few close, trusted friendships to invest their time and energy in, as opposed to a large network of acquaintances, according to Buelow.
“Introverts are pretty picky about who we bring into our lives,” Buelow says. “It requires some energy, and if you do come into our inner circle, that means a lot.”
This quality causes introverts to be loyal, attentive and committed friends, says Buelow.
They make loving romantic partners
Introverts crave personal space to reflect and refuel, and they can sense when their partners need space, too. “Because we have this need for our own privacy, we give that to others as well,” says Buelow. “We won’t be super clingy or high maintenance in relationships.”
And the same qualities that make introverts great listeners also make them great partners, according to Kahnweiler. At the end of a long day, they’re there to listen and support their partner without feeling compelled to talk about themselves.
Introverts also to get to know someone before sharing intimate details with a prospective partner, and it can make them appear more appealing in the early stages of relationships.
“There can be something attractive about the mystery factor of introverts,” says Helgoe. “That can inspire curiosity and wanting to know the person better.”
They’re thoughtful networkers
Being in a large group where the goal is to meet, talk and make a good first impression can be overwhelming for many — especially for introverts.
But Buelow says they can use their natural strengths to create meaningful connections.
Extroverts may approach networking events with the goal of talking to as many people as possible, but often, those quick conversations don’t leave lasting impacts, says Buelow.
But Buelow says the strength in networking is not necessarily in numbers. Introverts, she says, should focus on learning about people they meet — even if they only connect with a handful of people.
“I try to make meaningful connections with a couple of people that I can follow up with in some way,” says Buelow. After an event, she’ll send links to articles or speeches that made her think of the person she spoke to. This type of active listening and follow-up can be a lot more beneficial than simply handing out 50 business cards, she says.
They’re compassionate leaders
Helgoe says introverts can make the best leaders — when they channel their natural strengths. For starters, they don’t feel the need to step into the spotlight and take all of the credit for group successes; rather, they are ly to highlight the strengths of their teams, according to Helgoe.
“An extroverted leader may be noticeable, but you may see the leader before you see the team,” Helgoe says. And employees who feel recognized tend to be more motivated, she says.
And since introverts process information more slowly and thoughtfully than their extroverted counterparts, introverted leaders tend to learn more about their subordinates, according to Kahnweiler.
They have focused conversations with their team members in order to learn their skills, passions and strengths, according to Kahnweiler.
Once they gather all of this information, they can use what they’ve learned to help each team member be more efficient and happier at work.
“People will talk about their favorite managers and they’ll say, ‘They were with me,’” Kahnweiler says. “‘Even if there were more pressing things, I felt I had their attention. I had their ear.’”
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Are You Shy? Use It to Your Advantage
Last Updated on July 20, 2021
You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.
Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:
1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically
According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.
“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor
Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:
If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.
If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.
Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:
- Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
- Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
- Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.
Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.
To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.
Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.
Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.
Meditation is a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.
Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which ly includes floundering on stage.
Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:
2. Focus on your goal
One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.
Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’
Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.
Decide on the progress you’d your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.
If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.
3. Convert negativity to positivity
There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?
‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’
It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.
Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”
Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.
Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:
4. Understand your content
Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.
However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.
“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor
Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.
Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.
One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.
5. Practice makes perfect
most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.
In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.
Public speaking, any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!
6. Be authentic
There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.
Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.
Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.
To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this you normally would with a close family or friend. It is having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting.
A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.
With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.
Presenters Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:
7. Post speech evaluation
Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.
Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation
We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.
You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.
Improve your next speech
As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:
- How did I do?
- Are there any areas for improvement?
- Did I sound or look stressed?
- Did I stumble on my words? Why?
- Was I saying “um” too often?
- How was the flow of the speech?
Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.
If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:
9 Positive Advantages of Being Shy
“Being shy makes your brain work better.” –psych2go.me
Aside from moving around 4 elementary schools until I finally remained stable at one, I never really experienced many “shy” moments in my life.
I’m a natural born extrovert and even when I possessed extremely low self-esteem, I hardly found it difficult to strike up a conversation with anyone. Now, I’ve always been pretty self-cautious and carried a load of anxiety but, still, I was never shy.
Only recently have I formed a more reserved personality, in which I’ve become more introverted (not shy, but rather, choose to listen more often than speak).
Shyness: the personality temperament has always had a negative stigma association more so than a positive one. Although it’s easy to beat oneself up about being shy, let’s look further into how being shy brings up many positive advantages.
Hopefully, this list will aid shy individuals in better understanding themselves and develop that confidence they necessarily might not contain. And heck, maybe turn that shyness into introversion (If you don’t know yet, being shy is different than being an introvert.
Introverts just rather choose to be quieter and reserved).
1. Modesty is Attractive
They don’t brag about their success or accomplishments. They may downsize compliments or their own positive attributes.
They look before they leap; they plan for the unexpected, avoid unnecessary risk and set long-term goals. They live with moral code instead of being rebellious, therefore, they usually don’t find themselves in trouble. Parents, teachers and other authority figures ly trust them to make the right decisions.
3. Sensitive to Detail
They’re detail-oriented because they’re sensitive to stimulation- this leads to a great appreciation for fine details. For example, they might hate roller coasters (a lot of stimulation) but they will ly notice all different flavors in a meal.
Shyness is rarely a threatening characteristic of people and it’s easier to approach a shy person than it is to do so with a social butterfly. Most shy people don’t have a stuck-up attitude.
5. Calming Effect on Others
Shy people give off a peaceful vibe, especially in an environment that is very upbeat. Their calmness and ability to not be dramatic may have a positive effect on others.
6. Human Service Positions/Empathy
They’re extremely sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others, which leads to them excelling in human service positions, such as being a psychologist or teacher. They’re great listeners who people can easily open up to. Shy leaders are often more effective as they talk less and listen more than extroverted leaders.
7. More Trustworthy
They don’t gossip much or brag; people can trust them with keeping secrets.
8. Deeper Friendships
The few friendships they possess are usually deep long lasting ones. Making friends probably isn’t easy for them so when you do stumble upon a friend, they value them greatly and work to maintain it.
9. Successful at Solitary Work
A majority of jobs require focus and concentration in a solitary environment (accountant, clerical work, lab technician, etc.) and this is where shy people thrive in. Because they aren’t very social, they have fewer distractions and interruptions which allows them to perform exceptionally in solitary work, or even work itself.
If you’re currently a shy person, share your thoughts on how it has or continues to affect you. Do you hope to one day overcome your shyness or are you perfectly fine with this characteristic? I’d love to hear what you all say!
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10 Oddly Helpful Benefits Of Being Shy
Are you shy and think this is a weakness? You may be looking at shyness the wrong way. According to the latest research, somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of all adults report being shy. And while it’s easy to get down on yourself when you are shy or socially anxious, there are times when it’s a trait of real strength.
In this article, we’re going to forget about the horrors of mingling in a room full of strangers, playing icebreaker games in the office, or meeting someone in person who you’ve previously only spoken to online. Instead, we’re going to focus on the 10 positive aspects of shyness, and discover how it could just be your secret weapon for success.
1. Your modesty is endearing
Shy people are unobtrusive; they rarely whip up controversy or fight for the center stage. And they’re perceived as very personable as a result.
While bolder types may wade in and immediately take charge of a conversation, you prefer to hold back and listen. To others, you appear modest, empathetic and non-threatening, which are all attractive qualities. So, while shy people will often ponder for a long time before they approach someone, when they do, they tend to have a consistently good experience.
2. You cultivate more intense friendships
Shy children and adults tend to make fewer friends than their more-confident peers but those relationships are cultivated very intensely. Being less forward, you may have a little trouble forging friendships, so you treasure the ones you have.
Plus, your naturally reserved nature makes you a more active and better listener. This makes it easy for others to open up to you and trust you. You may be able to count your friendships on one hand – but they’re ly to stick around for a lifetime.
3. You make better decisions
Being shy means you look before you leap, and take time to think things through before making your choices. Your cautious nature stops you from being carried away by your impulses and making rash decisions you might later regret. It allows you to be a little more reasoned in your decision-making.
At the same time, you need to make a conscious effort to avoid overthinking and working yourself up about problems that only exist in your head. But as long as you’re not being ruled by fear, your instinct is to analyze the situation thoroughly and consider all the variables before acting, which means you’re highly effective in decision-making.
4. Shyness is linked to creativity
Since shy people struggle to engage with external stimuli, they often concentrate on their inner lives and develop a rich imagination. And shy people tend to hone their creative abilities in order to get this imagination out into the world and materialize their feelings.
From David Bowie to Adele, there are a multitude of shy musicians and writers.
The poet Emily Dickinson was such a shrinking violet, she used to greet her visitors from behind a half-closed bedroom door.
And Agatha Christie agreed to take over as chairman of the Detective Club on the strict understanding that she would never have to make a speech. Now that’s a job description I can get behind!
5. You tend to be altruistic
Shy people are often altruistic – they help others. In fact, you often think far too hard about people’s reactions when figuring out how you should behave and what you are going to say. You are sensitive to what others are feeling, and this is beneficial when dealing with others with kindness and consideration.
6. You think before you speak
Rather than rushing headlong into a solution or an answer, a shy person will generally weigh the pros and cons, think before acting, and seek consensual solutions. It’s ly you do this as a way to avoid looking stupid and embarrassing yourself in front of others, which may not make you feel especially proud of your motivations.
But whatever your reasons for holding back, people will trust your calm and well thought-out opinions. They make a balanced counterpoint against all the spontaneous and knee-jerk reactions out there, and are especially valued in the workplace.
7. You are extremely adaptable
Being shy can keep you from a lot of things in life that you wish to experience. There’s a natural urge to avoid situations that may be overwhelming, having to make a presentation or attend a networking event. But life has a habit of throwing these challenges in your path and you must find ways to deal with them.
For shy people, facing fearful situations is an everyday event. And this means you’re always finding ways to adapt by doing things in ways that make sense for you. You’re always developing strategies to cope with life's difficulties, and being a fighter has huge benefits in your work and personal life.
8. You cope well on your own ..
First, let’s clear up some confusion – shy people are not necessarily Introverts, and Introverts are not always shy. Introversion might make you think of someone who is shy and sensitive but there are plenty of shy Extraverts, and plenty of Introverts who are self-confident. Introversion and shyness are distinct qualities.
So when we talk about coping well on your own, we’re not talking about the introverted tendency to prefer alone-time as a way to recharge.
Rather, we’re talking about the ability to focus and be productive in a solitary environment and not having to win the approval of others to validate what you’re doing. This is an area where many shy people find that they flourish.
The ability to work and succeed independently is great for your self-esteem and personal growth.
9. … and you also excel at teamwork
We don’t tend to think of shy people as being good on teams but in fact, shy people often have many of the skills that make teams succeed. They’re empathetic listeners, which makes them understand others better, and they’re often perceived as trustworthy, which means people are very willing to work with them.
From a business point of view, it is useful to have people in your team who want to take risks and dare to discover new things.
But equally, the team needs someone who is more cautious and fearful – someone who, instead of looking for new ways of doing things, is protecting what the business already has.
Shy people tend not to go overboard with their reactions because they operate with a strong sense of balance. Don’t let anyone tell you that being shy is incompatible with leading projects and teams!
10. Shyness is an evolutionary advantage
If you’re used to thinking of your shyness as something wrong with you, know this: shyness is not a personality mistake, but an evolutionary advantage.
According to evolutionary psychologists, the tendency to fear and avoid strangers is hardwired into our psyche.
It stems from the days when tribes and village communities had to protect themselves from potentially dangerous people outside the tribe.
Even today, it is impossible to know beforehand whether someone will be good or bad for your work team, family or friendship group.
Thus, it makes sense to have a combination of bold people who can push boundaries and expand social networks, and shy people who can act with more caution and restraint.
Every society (or group) needs a balance of both kinds of people to function properly. Shy people of the world, unite!